The Arabian Peninsula is predominantly desert. However, Oman is more varied. Oman is exquisite in natural beauty. Mountains, beaches, and wadis (valleys) surround the country despite being dry.It is a great place for exploration, especially in winter temperature. The winter weather is mild which is the best time to enjoy outdoor activities.
No visit to Oman is complete without seeing Wadi Shab. Wadi Shab is one of the most famous tourist spots in the Sultanate of Oman. If you’re a nature lover and outdoorsy traveler, this place should be on your list.
Getting to Wadi Shab
If you are coming from Muscat, it is 1.5hrs away from the city. It is in Sharqiyah Region, before the town of Tiwi. You can’t get lost; there is a signage going to Wadi Shab. It is advisable to bring a vehicle going to the place, but you can hire a private car for a day trip. There is a massive bridge under the entrance of the wadi (valley), a landmark you are at the right place.There is a public toilet in the parking area if you want to change comfortable clothes before the hike. There is a small store where you can buy food and drinks. Before the start of the walk, you only pay 1 OMR/ 130 PHP/ 2.5 USD for the boat ride to cross the small lake.The ride is short, and it is good for the two way ride. Make sure to know what time is the last boat ride if wish to go late afternoon. The rest of the experience is free of charge.
Outdoor Adventures in Wadi Shab:
There are different activities to do for every traveler visiting the Wadi Shab. Here is the list:
The hike is less than an hour to reach the swimming area. It is an easy to moderate walk, and I recommend wearing hiking shoes. It is painful on the sole if you are not wearing appropriate footwear. The first part of the trail is flat, and it gets rocky in the middle area. There are marks on the path, so I don’t think you will get lost. You can hike alone if you wish but I suggest you go in pair. Before reaching the wadi, you will pass by to the rugged mountains, plantations, cliffs, oasis and big rocks.
The fun doesn’t end once you reach the Wadi. You can swim and start to walk into the small canyon. You can either spend time on the water pools with different depth or swim and walk all the way inside a cave.Reminder, going inside the cave is not for everyone. Never attempt if you don’t know how to swim. To get inside the cave, you have to walk and swim quite long. You should know how to swim at least 50-100meters. The entrance is small that you have to swim through a tiny hole. The water gets deep as you go on, and it ‘s hard to hold anywhere inside. Yes, it is amazing, but pls don’t dare to swim if you can’t. Inside the cave, there is a rope where you can climb to the waterfall which is said to be the hidden gem of the place.
The shallow part of the water pool where kids can swim.
If you seek more thrill and excitement, another activity to try is jumping off the cliff. The cliffs are tall, perfect for cliff diving. In fact, Wadi Shab was one of the event places of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2012.
If you choose not to do it, you can still have fun on the Wadi by relaxing and having a picnic. Pack in and pack out all your gear and trash as you leave the area.
Helpful Reminders and Tips:
- Have a proper meal before the hike.
- Wear comfortable clothes where you can move quickly. Wear appropriate shoes for the walk.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a cap, sunblock, and glasses.
- Bring bottled water and food.
- Don’t bring a lot of things on your way to the Wadi Shab. Leave it in your car. Unless you want to go picnic at the Wadi.
- Bring a waterproof bag if you wish to swim and keep your belongings with you.
- Avoid going on weekends. It is crowded with the locals, expats, and tourists.
- Wear waterproof shoes if you wish to swim. It is bit slippery.
- For non-swimmers who wants to get inside the cave, wear a life vest. The water is deep inside. Never force yourself to get inside the cave.
- Bring extra clothes to change after the swim.
What outdoor adventure do you want to do? Share in the comments below.